'Composite Sanitary Fixtures

Composite Sanitary Fixtures

The housing and construction industries have continued to expand their use of advanced high quality materials, resulting in new offerings and products for acrylic FRP or ABS based bath tubs, hot tubs, shower trays and panel products or in solid surface applications including displays, hospitals, airports, tables, reception areas, sanitary and bath fixtures.

Present technology for one piece hot tubs or spas is based on an acrylic surface, a sheet of which is brought to final shape after being heated till flexible and then pulled tight to a mold surface via vacuum, or a polyethylene powder which is converted into a final surface through a rotational molding process with heat. The substructure is usually an FRP (fiberglass reinforced plastic) or ABS type plastic.

CMS' large 3D work envelops make possible the, sometimes intricate, 5 axis machining required for spa holes, openings and edges, even if that requires determining where in space the work to be done is. CMS' flexible 5 axis machining capabilities, with its large number of available cutting tools for work, special fixturing systems for holding awkward large objects, probing system to locate, determine the actual position in space and adjust the machining program accordingly, and special systems for controlling and extracting dust, make CMS' CNC machining centers the preferred choice for top manufacturers.

For solid surface manufacturing, CMS' CNC machining centers provide the extra attention required for complete solutions, as for example in a 2 piece sink unit, which not only requires the flexible fixturing and holding of the part, and machining of its edges, but also the polishing and smoothing of the undermount joint between the sink and vanity surface as well.

To support these construction methodologies CMS provides unique solutions, in addition to its standard series of CNC machining centers, which permit the machining of solid surfaces for countertops, countertops with fabricated sinks and sanitary fixtures, or the entire shape and dimensional range of 3D products required for bath or spa applications.

Whether large 3D shapes or decorative joined solid surfaces, CMS' CNC machining center technology resolves the manufacturing problem.

Products Used

Karat - machining 2 piece Corian® & Solid Surface Sinks

Karat, CMS' moving table class CNC machining center, as shown in this photo has been uniquely configured for machining 2 piece Corian® and solid surface sinks. Solid surfacing material is man made and usually composed of bauxite, acrylic or polyester resins and various pigments. Solid Surface's non-porous, renewable, low-maintenance and good seaming characteristics make it a desirable countertop surface, which is typically produced in sheet form, but can also be cast in a variety of shapes, including sinks, or even heated and bent into shapes through thermoforming processes at about 300°F.

The sink surface and the bowl have been joined together and provide the opportunity for a unique design aesthetic, but one which needs some special attention regarding the machining process, a process which CMS precisely and automatically controls including: the machine's flexible and easy setup with special fixtures for holding and clamping various sink sizes and styles, probing cycle to determine the sink's surface and adjust the profiling tools to their proper height, 4th axis scraping knife for removal of machining marks and surface leveling, 4 axis polishing wheels for a bright finish, as well as bar code reading and automatic loading of the various required programs to be executed.

FXB - moving table solution for composite sanitary fixtures

FXB, CMS' moving table class CNC machining center, provides a flexible configuration, and wide range of available machining envelop sizes and options for 5-axis machining of advanced composite materials such as solid surface, FRP and ABS, which are used to produce hot tubs, bath tubs, shower trays, decorative displays, sanitary fixtures for hospitals, and airports, or work surfaces for kitchens, tables, reception areas, and so forth.

FXB's moving table configuration is available in single or double versions, which can be slaved together when needed, table depths ranging from 4 x 5' to 10 x 5' (width x depth), as well as extended depths of 7', 8' and 10', and Z working heights, depending on the working unit, from 300 mm (11.8") to 1200 mm (47.2"). FXB is also available with CMS' ATC working units in 3 and 5 axis versions, 3 axis linear spindles, and revolvers.

FXB can also be equipped with CMS' special 5-axis dust hood collection technology and high velocity dust extraction equipment, providing important control of dust to the working area when machining FRP and ABS materials.

Antares - moving bridge, fast, flexible machining for composite sanitary fixtures

ANTARES, CMS' moving bridge class CNC machining center, is a flexible, small footprint, 5-axis unit, well adapted for machining composite sanitary fixtures, where its protective enclosure with automatically controlled doors provides, not only security, but dust containment, and can also be equipped with CMS' optional total dust enclosure (as seen in the photo to the right), its unique 5-axis dust hood and high velocity dust extraction equipment. Antares is available with a 2600 mm (102.4") X axis, 1500 mm (59.1") Y axis, 1200 mm (47.2") Z axis working envelop, +/- 135° B axis, and +/- 270° C axis. Antares' 5 axis working unit provides 12 kW (16.1 hp) power at 12,000 rpm, 24,000 rpm maximum, S1 rating, with optional 6 kW (8 hp) working unit available, as well as optional linear and rotary scales, optional carbon fiber/composite dust protection kit, or CMS' TR system, rotating table for nonstop work cycles, by which the operator can be loading and unloading the table in complete safety, while work is being carried on within the machine.

ARES - flexible fixturing & Composite Sanitary Fixtures

ARES, CMS' moving bridge class CNC machining center, is shown here with APC tables, special fixturing units, and CMS' downdraft dust collection technology, for machining sanitary composite fixtures, as in the case of this curved fiberglass aerospace front tank panel, shown in the bottom right photo. ARES provides another step in the range of available working envelop sizes for CMS' moving bridge class machining centers:

  • 3600 (141.7"), 4800 (188.9"), 6000 mm (236.2") X,
  • 1800 (70.9"), 2600 mm (102.4") Y
  • 1200 mm (47.2") Z, +/- 120° B axis and +/- 270° C axis

ARES is equipped with CMS' PX5 working unit, 12 kW power (16 hp), at 12,000 rpm, maximum 24,000 rpm, S1 rating, liquid cooled.

As shown in the top photo ARES, in addition to its standard nonstop cycle behind the automatically controlled safety doors, can be supplied with CMS' APC tables for a nonstop cycle with loading and unloading from 3 sides of the table and for easily mounting and replacing table fixtures as shown in the photo to the bottom left and bottom right. ARES can also be equipped with CMS' powerful downdraft dust collection system, to which can be added CMS' total dust enclosure to provide complete control of dust generated during the machining cycle.

Poseidon K - monobloc moving bridge, higher power for Sanitary Composite Fixtures

Poseidon K, CMS' moving bridge class CNC machining center, with monobloc construction, provides increased machining power, as well as available options for increased precision when machining composite materials used in sanitary fixtures. Poseidon K, a monobloc version and part of CMS' large format heavy duty machining center series, covers the 5-axis machining needs of mid-range component sizes with an X stoke of either 2600 mm (102.4") or 4000 mm (157.5"), a Y stroke of 1500 mm (59.1"), Z stroke of 1300 mm (51.2"), B axis inclination of +/- 110° and C axis rotation of +/- 300°, with pneumatic brakes on the B&C axes for increased rigidity when not interpolating. Poseidon K is equipped with CMS' KX5 working unit with available power levels of either the 15 kW (20.1 hp) power at 12,000 rpm, or the 28 kW (37.5 hp) power at 4,300 rpm, maximum 24,000 rpm, liquid cooled, S1 rating.

Additionally, Poseidon K can be equipped with:

  • linear and rotary scales for increased precision
  • CMS' total enclosure for dust control
  • CMS' 5-axis dust hood technology
  • CMS provided high velocity extraction equipment CMS' carbon fiber/composite dust kit for protection of moving and electrical components

Poseidon - large format, sanitary fixture machining

Poseidon, CMS' large format, moving bridge class CNC controlled machining center, makes possible the machining of large sanitary fixture components, even in a nonstop, pendular cycle, with high power, high speed and precision. Regardless of Poseidon's size it can be equipped either of CMS' total enclosure systems, as shown in the photos to the right: upper photo, CMS' complete machine enclosure with internal and external light and total air capture system; lower photo, CMS' special automated flexible roof enclosure capable of moving with the bridge and of being disengaged from either end via m-code and powered in either direction to permit loading/unloading from one or both ends. Poseidon is also available with CMS' 5-axis dust hood technology and high velocity dust extraction equipment for optimum dust control.

Poseidon's axes strokes range from X axis 2.5 m to 41.0 m (8.2' to 134.5'), Y axis 2.6 m to 8.5 m (8.5' to 27.9') and Z axis 1.3 m to 4.0 m (4.3' to 13.1'), the non-telescopic version is standard and telescopic versions are available where reduced height limitations exist.

Poseidon is available with CMS' working units type:

  • PX5 with 12 kW power (16.1 hp) at 12,000 rpm, maximum 24,000, liquid cooled, S1 rating, A axis +/- 120°, C axis +/- 270°
  • or KX5 with 15 kW power (20.1 hp) at 12,000 rpm, maximum 24,000, liquid cooled, S1 rating, A axis +/- 120°, C axis +/- 270°
  • or KX5 with 28 kW power (37.5 hp) at 4,300 rpm, maximum 24,000, liquid cooled, S1 rating, A axis +/- 120°, C axis +/- 270° each of which come with a 16 place tool changing magazine standard, with additional expansion possible

Additional Images

Hot tub, Spa, Jacuzzi® - Composite Sanitary Fixtures

Hot tub, Spa, Jacuzzi® are all names for the same enjoyable get-away feeling of relaxing in a comfortable, warm, bubbling setting with family and friends indoors, as well as outdoors. Such large one piece 3 dimensional objects are typically made with either an acrylic or polyethylene surface, utilizing an FRP (fiberglass reinforced plastic) or ABS type plastic substructure.

Though the designs and settings for hot tubs seem endless, CMS' special 5-axis technology, providing large work envelops, and special considerations for dust collection, including enclosed work envelops, 5-axis dust hoods and high velocity dust extraction technology, along with the capabilities for trimming with saw blades, utilizing various cutting tools for openings, holes and edging operations, considerations for fixturing, part holding, including probing technology to determine the exact location of surface features prior to machining, are among the important reasons why hot tub and spa manufacturers have made CMS their choice for CNC machining center technology for years.

In addition, CMS also provides its technology for the machining of the molds and models used to create these hot tubs and spas.

Hot tub, Spa, Jacuzzi® - machining

This photo shows several hot tub and spa versions, face down with their FRP or ABS substructure surface showing, being done on one of CMS' several different CNC machining center formats including ARES and Poseidon. Regardless of the physical location of the spa for machining, or possible surface thickness variations, a probing cycle makes it possible to locate and accurately machine the various spa features required, flexible fixturing also helps to easily place and hold the component for machining, while CMS' downdraft dust collection system (lower right) and 5-axis dust hood equipment (upper right), to which can be added its total dust enclosure system, make hot tub and spa processing fast, reliable and dust contained.

Corian®, Solid Surface 2 piece sinks

Solid surface material has gained a wide spread appreciation over the years, both for its beauty in application, as well as its functional properties. Among those reasons which make it a design favorite are its low maintenance, lack of porosity, renewability as a man-made product, capability of mimicking other materials such as wood or stone, thermoform-ability, ability to make a tight seam, and repairabilty.

Sink applications for bathrooms, kitchens and lavatories benefit from all these characteristics. This photo shows another design favorite for 2 piece solid surface sink construction, in which CMS provides the technology for part support and holding, probing for accurate machining, special scraping capabilities for removing machining marks and polishing technology for a lustrous finish.

Fiberglass - aerospace tank component

This photo shows a fiberglass front tank curved panel for aerospace application. CMS provides the technology for the locating, support and holding fixtures for a wide range of such components, and the 5 axis machining capabilities for trimming excess edge material with a saw blade, horizontal edge routing and machining of the construction holes, as well as its downdraft dust extraction technology for a clean ambient air for the operator's work area.

Shower enclosures

As with the preceding fiberglass aerospace curved panel and the wide range of hot tub and spa designs, CMS also provides the same 5-axis CNC machining technology for shower enclosures.


Corian® Solid Surface - 2 piece sink machining

This video presents CMS' special CNC machining solution for 2 piece Corian® solid surface sinks. CMS' Karat is equipped with a special part fixturing system to allow for various size and shape sinks, or sink combinations, which includes CNC controlled clamping devices. In addition, Karat is also equipped with capabilities for probing to determine the surface of the sink and permit adjustment of the various machining processes in relationship to the surface to be worked, a 4th axis milling device with floating technology so that no possible machining error can occur where the profile gouges the sink surface, a 4th axis scraping device to remove machining marks and assure a completely level surface between the bowl and the counter surface, as well as a 4th axis polishing device for the joint work. Karat's use of CMS' R8 revolver, with 8 stations, means fast tool changing with high flexibility.

Fiberglass machining - Aerospace front tank panel

CMS' ARES is shown processing a fiberglass shell component, a front tank panel in an aerospace application. ARES is equipped with CMS' special downdraft dust collection system for control of the dust created during the machining process, CMS' APC tables for safe nonstop production cycles on which special part holding fixtures are mounted, for easy loading/unloading work from 3 sides, and CMS' PX5, 5 axis working unit, which is equipped with a large saw blade to trim off excess fiberglass material on the part's edges prior to the finish edge milling operation with the head placed horizontally, and the final work of routing the holes located along the parts edges.

Hot tub, spa and tub machining

Hot tub and spa CNC machining cycles are presented in this video. CMS' ARES is equipped with CMS' downdraft dust collection system for control of the dust generated during the processing cycle, CMS' dust protection kit for machine and electrical components, CMS' APC table system with special adjustable fixtures for holding various size and shaped 3D tubs, CMS' 5-axis dust collection hood with high velocity dust extraction system, and radio probing device placed in one of the ATC's positions for accurate location of pre-existing features or openings which must correctly located to avoid depth or positional machining errors.

The process includes setting the fixture holding rails, CMS' PX5 working unit processing with large saw blade the hot tub's mounting edge, machining of holes, slots, and openings, probing cycles to determine the location of pre-existing openings and make sure that their 3D position is obtained so that the program can be correctly and automatically adjusted to reflect this for the required machining process.


Solutions for Composite Materials Machining

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Advanced Materials Technology - Advanced Machine Solutions

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